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View Full Version : Brainstorming a new side business



puglogic
6-28-11, 6:28pm
I get a charge out of having several tiny little sources of income, in addition to my main livelihood. These are usually in areas where I have some interest or passion, like a few dollars from my library job, a few dollars selling stuff on Amazon, etc. The extra money is negligible, but it tends to keep me interested and happy.

In the interested in aligning my life more with my values, I was thinking today that I'd love to create some kind of micro-business that had something to do with simplicity, YMOYL, sustainability, or anything that helps people lead safer, simpler, happier lives. Darned if I can think of what it might be, though. (My husband pointed out that it might be counter-intuitive: "Your clients would be trying to pay LESS for things, not MORE, wouldn't they, honey?" :))

Any thoughts on what I might do? Anything missing out there you've noticed? Some people have suggested some way to source locally-raised food, making T-shirts with cool simple-living slogans, or workshops on creating small food gardens. Any other ideas?

ApatheticNoMore
6-28-11, 7:33pm
Your clients would be trying to pay LESS for things, not MORE, wouldn't they, honey?"

that depends on the market you are targeting. Pure frugality sure, but if your going for the green market, people might be willing to pay more initially (and sometimes more permanently) for greener stuff.


Any thoughts on what I might do? Anything missing out there you've noticed? Some people have suggested some way to source locally-raised food, making T-shirts with cool simple-living slogans, or workshops on creating small food gardens. Any other ideas?

Sometimes in my more cynical moments, I think sustainability is the next bubble. Haha, let it be known that I was the first one to call it :moon:. But really who isn't starting some little sustainability business now? I like that phrase "sustainability is a bubble" because obviously by definition true sustainability can't be, sustainability is that which can last, but all the sustainability businesses people are running now .... could be a bubble.

Ideas: well there's always reusable bags, those seem big (not just for the outer bag but for people's produce and bulk bin foods and stuff too). *IF* people actually consistently *USE* the bags they buy (sometimes I have my doubts), that is green. You could use organic cotton or reuse things or whatever. Someone had the idea of starting a green preschool where all the foods are organic etc.. I love the idea. But that's a real business and you'd need a real green yuppie demographic to do it.

iris lily
6-29-11, 1:47am
Please, I beg you--do not release more t-shirts into the universe. But the teaching classes I like.

lhamo
6-29-11, 5:41am
At one point in my life I was toying with the idea of a frugality coaching business -- basically a financial coaching program where you help people walk through the steps of aligning spending with values ala YMOYL. While there are many people who do it on their own or with a group, I think some people would get better results with individual coaching. I was thinking I would charge on a sliding scale, setting the initial fee at 50% of what I could point out as potential monthly or weekly savings in the initial consultation (which would be based on a detailed analysis of several months of their actual spending). Subsequent fees could be a smaller percentage as we worked through various stages of the process. The idea was that this would be a post-FI source of supplemental income, so I wouldn't have to make a ton of money at it. Not sure if it crosses any lines in terms of rules regarding financial advice, though.

lhamo

redfox
6-29-11, 11:38am
I've always wanted to be a Goodwill Personal Shopper... I have amazing GW karma. However... it's a rather counter-intuitive role! So I just call all my friends when I'm there & find something I know they would love or could use. I call Kelli, the cake baker, when I find a cool cake stand or vintage cake carrying case. Em is the one I call when I find gorgeous home furnishings in her colors (saffron, garnet, paprika, deep brown), Karin gets called for amazing yarns (if I don't keep them for myself)... you get the picture.

Let us know what you decide to try! I love the impulse.

Tenngal
6-30-11, 10:22pm
the world is full of people who cannot make a budget and stick to it. Especially young people who are trying to start out with everything it took us years to earn.......try teaching a workshop on budgeting and frugal living?

RosieTR
7-5-11, 12:21am
What are your skills? You mentioned selling stuff on Amazon...what about a small class or seminar about that? Even 20 people at $5/person would be $100. Other skills that are in line with sustainability: teaching people to cook (I've actually thought about this, since it amazes me how little people know about cooking these days), basic car maintenance, how to set up a financial spreadsheet/Excel workbook/Mint.com account, how to interview/resume writing/job searching, how to use social networks/other websites/set up a home computer network. Just some ideas, but you'd have to assess your skills.

puglogic
7-5-11, 12:38pm
Wonderful ideas, everybody, thank you so much!

Frugal living -- GOOD living that also happens to be frugal -- is one of my big things, Tenngal. I see the people around me in this small town wasting so much money, it breaks my heart. Making three (car) trips per day to the superexpensive local general store that is just a five-minute walk away, by the way, instead of shopping smarter in the first place. Running sprinklers that water 80% street and 20% plants, creating a river that runs down the street. Paying extra to have the trash company pick up bags and bags of stuff, most of which is compostable (we all have space for that here) or can go to the free single-stream recycling center 10 minutes down the road. Maybe my angst over all that is a big clue about the direction I should go ;)

Stella
7-5-11, 5:23pm
My next door neighbor works for a non profit teaching teens and college kids about budgeting and frugal living. I could see turning that into a business. You could market to parents of kids going off to college. I know that the inability to manage money is a worry of a lot of parents I know.